Day 1: Arrival in Sofia, capital city of Bulgaria. Transfer from the airport to the 4 stars hotel. Dinner in a typical Bulgarian restaurant, at the foot of the adjacent Vitosha Mountain, with traditional folklore show and dishes. Overnight. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Breakfast. Departure to the southern part of the country. On the way visit of the Rila Monastery - a fortress of Christianity located in the highest mountain on the Balkan Peninsula. You will be surprised by the architecture, interior and exterior decoration of the monastic complex, the unrivaled masterpieces of mural as well as the pristine surrounding nature of the Rila Mountain. Visit of the monastery museum with precious artifacts from its centennial history. Lunch with fresh trout fish in the vicinity of the Rila Monastery.
Proceeding southwards to the Rojen Monastery - one of the most renowned in Bulgaria, both for the masterpieces of religious painting and for the beauty of the surrounding Pirin Moutain. A pearl in the Bulgarian Renaissance architecture of 17th - 18th centuries. Accommodation in the smallest Bulgarian town - Melnik (10 km from the Bulgarian-Greek border), famous for the wine producing and the unique sandy rocks relief. A place with traditional architecture and traditions still preserved. Visit of the Kordopulova House with the wine cellars dug in the rocks. Overnight in Melnik. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Breakfast. Departure eastwards towards the small villages of Dolen and Kovachevitsa. On the way you will visit the spa resort of Ognianovo in the bosom of Pirin Mountain. Visit of the hot springs.
Accommodation on full-board basis in:
- The village of Dolen
- An unique architectural reserve, situated in the western part of the Rhodopes Mountain. You will be accommodated in the RhoDea house
- An authentic 200 years old house which has preserved the simplicity and the cosiness of the traditional Bulgarian home.
- The village of Kovachevitsa, tucked away between the ridges in the remotest south-western corner of the Rhodopes. Its dwellers number 50 people. The settlement is about 1050 m above sea level. Its climate is moderate, with a mild winter and a cool summer, provided by the freshness of the surrounding coniferous forests. You will stay in traditional Bulgarian houses and taste the delicious homemade dishes. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 4: Breakfast. Departure for the Eastern part of the Rhodopes and the village of Trigrad, picturesquely nested on the rocks of the mountain. Visit of the Yagodinska cave - one of the longest in Bulgaria with its strange rock shapes; and descending to the bottom of the Devil's Gorge cave, with a marvelous waterfall cascade - 60 m in height. Visit of the village of Shiroka Luka, build amphitheatrically in the narrow and steep valley of the Shirokolushka river. Walking along the winding narrow pebbled streets one suddenly finds himself taken several centuries back in the Bulgarian Renaissance period. Accommodation and overnight in the mountain resort of Pamporovo. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: Breakfast. Departure for the city of Plovdiv. On the way - visit of the Bachkovo Monastery, second largest in Bulgaria, dating back to the 10th century A.D., chiefly known for its original architecture, rich collection of old icons, jewelry, coins and church plate. Accommodation at the 4 stars hotel in Plovdiv. In the afternoon - guided tour in the Plovdiv Old city - built on the hills, dominating the Valley of Maritsa River. Visiting the Roman amphitheatre, the old houses of the merchants and landlords, the church St. Constantine and Elena - a romantic experience along the cobblestone narrow streets, the Roman hippodrome, with an original track 177 m. long, the Djumaia Mosque. Overnight in Plovdiv. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Breakfast. Departure for north Bulgaria. Visit of the architectural reserve - Etara, where you can feel the spirit of the past, see the marvelous power of water, enjoy the Renaissance architecture and see authentic Bulgarian customs. Proceeding to the small village of Bojentsi - high stone walls, oak doors, tiny cobblestone-paved lanes, stone fountains and bridges create the incredible atmosphere of the place. Visit of the Drianovo Monastery - a religious site, still holding the memory of the April uprising 1876.
Accommodation in the village of Arbanassi, next to the medieval Bulgarian capital - Veliko Tarnovo. Arbanassi - austere houses that resemble minor fortresses on the outside with high solid walls and heavy gates, iron rids and secret hiding places, but which are spacious and comfortable, richly decorated and furnished inside. Visit of the oldest of Arbanassi's five churches "The Birth of Christ" (1637-1649). Dug into the ground without a belfry and with hidden cupola, but hiding a genuine art gallery with over 3500 stunningly realistic figures and Biblical scenes, painted by unknown artist throughout the ages. Attending the "Light and sound show" in Veliko Tarnovo - a magnificent venue at the foot of the old fortress walls. Overnight in Arbanassi. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Breakfast. City tour of Veliko Tarnovo - visit the Tsarevets hill with the fortress, still preserved from the end of 14th c. with its towers and gates, the small churches and houses, the museum of Bulgarian Revival, the central square Mother Bulgaria. Visit of the nearby Preobrajenski Monastery, renowned for its unbeaten frescoes. Back to Sofia and overnight at 3 stars hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: Breakfast. Depending on flight departure time - a walking tour of Sofia - you will see the "St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral" and the icon museum "St. Sofia" church, the parliament "St. George Rotonda", the remains from the medieval city, the national theatre and other cites. Transfer to the airport. Includes: (B).
The price is valid for a group of minimum 10 persons.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Bulgaria History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey
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